Around Indies

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Midtown Reader to Open in Tallahassee

Midtown Reader will open in Tallahassee, Florida, this fall under the ownership of Havana resident Sally Bradshaw, who was previously a senior advisor to former Gov. Jeb Bush, reported Florida Politics.

“My hope is we really provide a safe haven for critical thinking,” said Bradshaw. “I think independent bookstores are places where people can read and think before they speak, where book lovers can gather and celebrate the power of reading and learning.”

Bradshaw grew up in Mississippi, where she spent weekends at her local independent bookstore. After seeing a news article that ranked Tallahassee the smartest city in Florida and one of the smartest in the nation, she decided to take the plunge and open her own store. The bookstore will feature books on Florida and by Florida authors, and there will be a focus on children’s literature; events will include author readings and lectures.

“I think there is a need everywhere for more places for individuals to gather, read, and think and discuss what they feel is important, and do it in a civil setting where they can learn and grow,” Bradshaw said. “We just hope it will be a community gathering place.”

New Owners of Viewpoint Books Announced

Husband-and-wife team John and Beth Stroh are taking ownership of Columbus, Indiana’s Viewpoint Books effective July 1, reported the Republic. Current owners Terry and Susan Whittaker have owned the store since 1979, when they took over for Susan Whittaker’s family.

“We haven’t lived in Columbus without a Viewpoint bookstore, and it is such a valuable asset to the community. We read that Terry and Susan were interested in retiring, and felt like it was a legacy worth continuing,” Beth Stroh said.

John Stroh, who has been the Whittakers’ personal attorney for some time, will continue his work as a partner with Sharpnack Bigley Stroh & Washburn in Columbus. Beth Stroh, a longtime educator, will oversee day-to-day operations of the bookstore full time. In preparation for their new venture, the Strohs attended Winter Institute 11, and Beth Stroh participated in a workshop led by Paz & Associates.

The Whittakers, who sought new owners with a personal commitment to the community, are pleased that the Strohs will be taking over Viewpoint Books. “They’ve been in this community for a very long time; they’re very well known; they’re very community oriented; they want to be involved in more than just retail; they want to be involved in downtown and have a broader impact on the community,” Terry Whittaker said.

Detroit’s Pages Bookshop Marks First Anniversary

Pages Bookshop celebrated its first anniversary on May 2 in the Detroit neighborhood of North Rosedale Park, reported MLive. Owner Susan Murphy, who operates the store with two part-time employees, opened the business as a way to offer more reading options to the neighborhood after seeing weak reading and writing skills in her students at a local community college.

Detroit’s residents need a way to make social connections, especially in areas outside of the city’s downtown and midtown, Murphy said. “Detroit doesn’t have a lot of extras. Downtown does. Midtown does, as well. But neighborhoods don’t.”

Since opening, the store’s inventory has grown to 3,000 titles based on the community’s interests, including more history, political science, health, and current events books. It has also become known for its robust events programming. In the store’s second year in business, Murphy plans to extend business hours, opening six days a week instead of five.

Harvard Book Store to Offer E-Book Bundles Through Shelfie

Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Harvard Book Store has announced a partnership with smartphone app Shelfie to offer e-book bundles for select New York Times bestselling books.

Shelfie is a free app that allows readers to digitize their print library. Through the app, readers can download an e-book or audiobook by photographing a printed book’s copyright page marked with a bookplate or their handwritten name. By taking a photo of their bookshelf, readers can find a list of books eligible for digital bundles.

“Harvard Book Store is keen to promote reading across formats,” said store owner Jeff Mayersohn. “We believe that bundling the e-book with the print book will be of great value to our customers. We are delighted to partner with Shelfie to make this possible.”

“What makes Shelfie unique is that we are a digital company in support of print. We only make a sale when a reader has first purchased a print book,” said Mary Alice Elcock, vice president of content for Shelfie.

Books are available through Shelfie from more than 1,300 publishers, including HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.